Best Companies to Work For, Right?

 

Attention Graduates Don’t Fall for Best Company Lists

Yes you know the ones the Forbes puts out, and probably your local newspaper or TV network every year about where you want to work.

How can I possibly talk bad about these lists you ask?

Consider what many of these lists entail when you look at reviews from the employees themselves I assure you I am not exaggerating “When we work late the company will order us in food” or how about this one company boasts having its own “frozen drink machine”.  Does this large company sound familiar to you “we have large cafes with gourmet chefs to prepare food

Notice the absence in all of these great reviews things like:

  • Plenty of free time to come and go as I please
  • I set my own hours
  • Lots of paid vacation time
  • We get every holiday off under the sun

Here is what is going on, these best companies to work for are thinly disguised sweat shops that American college graduates have come to adorn.  I like to refer to these companies as compassionate capitalists; the idea is to never get you to leave your desk.  With new technology you can’t even leave because of your digital ball and chain, you smart phone.

If you choose to work for one of these companies just understand that it’s not all fun and games there is real work that is expected to be done, and they will get it out of you.

In fact this is how it seems I’ve been able to spot companies that expect far too much out of employees.  I don’t think sacrificing a vacation in the traditional sense of leaving work behind to enjoy life for a couple of days or weeks is reason enough to take part in a couple thousand dollars worth of food and drinks.  During a job interview I was told at a company that offered similar we buy our employees food, that I should put out of my mind holidays like Easter, and Christmas, and get used to working 12 hour days.

My gripe with these statements over “free food and drinks” as qualifying a company as a great place to work is that I worked at a place that had pretty much just that.  I probably bought 20 meals or so a year while working, the rest where corporate expensed, the office fridge was stocked on the corporate dollar as was the pantry.  We certainly did not make the best places to work for list, don’t get me wrong it is a nice perk, but that should not be what gets a company onto one of these lists.  There seems to be a categorical misunderstanding of what it should take to get on a list like this.